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Posts Tagged ‘running’

After months of being hurt, I have slowly started getting back into the swing of things. And by slowly, I mean my longest run since July has totaled 35 minutes. And I’m okay with that. It’s actually been kind of nice not to have anything to train for (although I will admit that I hate that I’m not running any of my favorite fall races – aka Army 10 Miler) and to not feel forced to run. I don’t have to feel guilty for not waking up early on Sunday to get in a long run. I’ve been focusing a lot more on walking and shorter, easier runs with lots of stretching and yoga moves. Not yoga, just yoga stretches. I haven’t gained any weight (in fact, I’ve actually lost a few pounds) and I feel great overall.

Since I am starting to build my base again, I decided it was time to finally buy a new pair of sneakers since my Brooks weren’t doing anything good for me. Again, not to say that Brooks are a bad shoe; these shoes were just not for me. I spent a lot of time researching, reading, and trying on different shoes before making this purchase. I cannot stress this enough: Go to a running store to buy your sneakers. Do it. You will NOT regret it. They work with you and help you understand the differences between all the different varieties of shoes. I have spent no less than an hour at a time trying on shoes, walking in them, running in them (on their treadmill in the store,) trying different ways to tie the shoes…it’s incredible what a difference your shoe laces can make! I tried a 4 mm, 8mm and 12 mm drop shoe (most typical running sneakers have a 12 mm heel to toe drop. The lower the drop, the closer it is to being a minimal type shoe. Correct me if I’m wrong people.) Since my knee has been giving me such problems and I’ve gotten so many stress fractures over the past few years, I thought a more minimal style shoe would be better for me. I spoke with a few of the wonderful people at Potomac River Running (in Reston) and the overall consensus was that my body has been through a lot of stress, and what I need to do is focus on a shoe that can help me to re-build my base SAFELY. Trying to jump from an injury into a shoe that will change my running form is not a good idea. I was convinced after all the reading I’ve done about minimal running that it would be a great solution for my knees, but after trying a few different types of shoes, I realize they are right.

Long story short, I bought the Adidas Aegis 2W’s. I wanted a light shoe with a snug fit that would allow me to feel the road but without the minimal stress.

Adidas Aegis 2W’s

These pictures make them look a lot bulkier than they are. They are very lightweight, and the cushion is prevalent but not overwhelming. Like I said, I wanted to feel the road, and with these I can. I’m not crazy about the color (they’re red on one said and black on the other) but color doesn’t affect my performance so I’ll have to suck it up for now.

I did a 3 mile run with my co-worker Craig out on the W&OD trail with the new shoes and felt great.

Stats:

Mile 1: 8:33
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 9:23

And the shoes? So far so good. Since I have 30 days to return them, I have to try to get as many miles as them as possible to ensure they’re a good fit, so you will be hearing a lot about these shoes. Man I wish I knew I had 30 days to return the Brooks…but whatever.

Do you have any stories about Adidas running sneakers?

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Heat wave!

I don’t know about you, but I hate running in the summer. Loathe. It’s hot, uncomfortable, sticky, and just plain not fun for me.

I like to feel like this:

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But I actually feel like this:

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The top picture was from last year’s Army 10 Miler. It ended up being a terrible TERRIBLE race for me. It was last October, and it ended up being a very warm 75* day, which normally isn’t that hot. But it was very sunny, and the race is run on blacktop (the course is along the local major highways) and I was NOT prepared. I ended up in the medical tent at the end of the race and was very dehydrated. It sucked.

So why am I signed up to run two races this summer – the Boilermaker 15K July 8 (holy crap it’s in 17 days!) and the Leesburg 20K in August? Because I’m stupid. Ok, maybe it’s because my co-worker signed up to run the 20K and my competitive side came flying out … but we don’t need to go there.

Also, I really enjoy the Boilermaker atmosphere. There’s beer, there’s fun people cheering you along the way, and it’s close to where I grew up so there are always people I know running.

Since today marks the official start of summer and it’s going to be 99* and grossly humid for the next few days, I figured it would be a good time to talk about what I do when it’s grossly hot out.

I run inside.

No, seriously.

Is this cheating? Probably. Unless it’s a race, my ass is NOT running in this crap. When it is hot out on race day, I make sure to keep as hydrated as possible but I’m not going to lie – I’m miserable and I run terribly. This is why I hate signing up for summer races – you never know what you’re getting yourself into. However, since I know I don’t run my best in the summer, that also makes it more of a challenge. I have to change my mentality for summer races. I can’t expect to PR. I have to make it fun (which includes bringing my camera and stopping for photos. Hey, if I’m spending money on a race, I better make it worth my time!)

How about you? Do you enjoy working out in the summer heat? How do you deal with it?

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What constitutes a runner?

I was going to write today about my IT band and the brace I bought to help relieve some pain, but I will revisit that idea later. For now, I need your opinion.

Before I get into the heart and soul of this blog post, I need you to go ahead and comment – right now – your definition of a runner. How do you label a runner? I want your first thoughts, your honest opinion before you read my post. Then, if your idea changes, go back and tell me in another comment what made you change your mind. If it didn’t change, that’s cool too. I just need an honest, unbiased opinion.

Did you leave your comment?

Are you SURE??

Ok.

Last night I came home after a 5 miler with my new running buddy (and friend!) Stephanie. Knowing my half marathon is on Saturday, I didn’t want to over do it, but I wanted to try out a new IT band brace that I bought. I wanted to give myself enough time to really feel it, to see how it worked, so we stuck with our 5 mile ritual. When I got home, I showered and jumped on the foam roller. As I was using the roller, Dennis noticed the weather for the weekend. It’s been abnormally warm here on the east coast (I’m sure it’s been warm everywhere) so I said something about how I hope it’s not too hot, since I tend to get sick running in the heat if I’m not prepared for it (I had a terrible experience in October’s Army 10 Miler)

His reaction? “Maybe running isn’t for you.”

What? Why would you say that?

“Well, you haven’t been running for very long and you keep having issues. I’m not being mean, I’m just saying…running isn’t great for the body.”

Nike  pic
(me)

Ok, so what do you mean I haven’t been running for very long? I’ve been playing soccer since I was 12. I’ve used running as my main exercise/stress relieving tool since then. All through high school (minus freshman year when I tried playing softball) I ran track. I ran track in Junior high as well. I was considered a distance runner, although the main distance event I competed in was the 800 meter run (if you haven’t already heard me complain about how awful and torturous that distance is, you haven’t known me very long.)

In college I played soccer. I ran throughout the off season to keep in shape. I ran my first “race” freshman year of college for Breast Cancer (it was a 5K.)

I would run just to run, never more than 5 miles, but still running none the less.

Doesn’t that make me a runner?

Running has always been my exercise of choice. Even though I chose to play sports (soccer, tennis, etc.) where running was a necessity, I still was running. And I actually credit my love for sports as my base for being a runner. If I didn’t have to run to keep in shape for those sports, I may not have chosen running as my drug of choice. Who knows, I may have found solace in spin classes or yoga (which I sometimes do even now;) It might have been swimming that caught my attention and kept me active. All I know is that I’ve always chosen running as my release.

running 2
(source)

I’ve always been a runner.

To him, being a runner is one who trains for competition.

“I’ve been running since I was 12 years old!” I said, defensively.

“You haven’t been RUNNING like you run now. You didn’t really start running until a few years ago…when you started training to run the longer distances.”

I disagree! I’ve been running since I was 12 years old!

He doesn’t see it that way. He was an athlete too, but he’s never considered himself a runner. He had to run to keep in shape for football, basketball and baseball, but he never was a runner.

“Yes, but that’s a different type of running. You’re sprinting, you’re doing a mile here and there to prepare for a sport. I did the same, but I also chose to run OUTSIDE of sports for pleasure. I think that’s where the difference is.”

Again, he disagrees.

Maybe I’m getting emotional about it because I take running to heart. It’s been a big part of my life for a long time. When my father died (at age 14,) I ran. I smoked a lot of pot (is that OK to say?) but I also ran a lot.

When I was in high school, I remember one day everything was pissing me off. By the end of first period, I decided I was going to make a list of all the things that pissed me off that day and run a lap on the track for each of those things. I ended up running 4 miles that day, 16 laps for the 16 things that pissed me off. I was in 10th grade.

Running kept me sane. It still does.

Doesn’t that make me a runner?

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I am not a biker, so I have no idea how you all think when you’re out there on the trails. After last night, I have made a negative opinion and I’m hoping you can prove me wrong (Ann.)

With the abnormally warm winter we’ve been having, it’s no surprise that more people have been running outside, even at night, to break away from the same-ol’ on the treadmill. Last night, a co-worker and I went to our company’s (FREE!!) gym and saw that there were no open machines. We waited a few minutes and realized we could be waiting a while so we decided, together, to run on our local bike/run trail.


Source

Since we weren’t planning on running outside, we were not wearing any reflective gear. However, I was wearing a light colored t-shirt, and we were running along the right side of the trail keeping an eye for any bikers or runners who could not see us. Most bikers use headlamps so this isn’t a difficult task.

As we’re running, we started to move over to let a biker pass, but before we got far enough to his liking, he started ringing his bell at us and yelling. As he zipped past us (he was flying) he yelled, “That’s why you don’t wear black when you’re running at night! You can’t do that!”

Let’s stop for a minute. He’s speeding down the trail. He HAS to know that there are people on the trail that aren’t biking. He has a headlamp. And let’s be honest, sometimes shit happens. Do I have to let my workout go down the drain because there aren’t any treadmills open at my gym? Because I don’t have reflective gear?

So in my gracious and lady-like manner, I screamed out, “Bite me Jackass!”

True story. And I know he heard me because I said it LOUD.

I half expected him to turn his bike around and rip me a new one, for which I was completely prepared. It made me feel like bikers think they own the trail, and if you aren’t following specific standards, you’re looked down upon.

Listen, I get it. When I’m running I don’t enjoy being lane blocked by a row of walkers taking up too much space and being too oblivious to notice. However, I am very cautious when I see a biker coming to move over. I wasn’t wearing headphones, I saw the light, and moved to the right. What was all the nonsense about?

What are the rules of the trails that must never be broken? Am I missing a cardinal rule or something?

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